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How the 2012 Presidential elections will effect US-Sino relations

A look at how each candidates stance on China could potential change the world economy if elected – a quick overview of what could unfold in the coming years.

obama romney china

obama romney china

The delicate relationship

It’s no surprise that whoever wins the 2012 US Presidential elections will have some say in the progress, or deterioration, of US-Sino relations. Never has it been more crucial that the US take note of our tenuous relationship with our largest creditor.

Besides merely owing China money, there are other factors and interests at play. Ten years ago, the big debate was human rights violations. Now, most of our Chinese-centered conversations are all focused on the economy.

With the election around the corner, the big three areas surrounding the fate of our relationship with China are China’s undervalued currency, one-sided trade policies, and the beefing-up of China’s military and defense spending. As November rolls around, here’s a high-level glance at the candidates.

President Obama and China

Since 2009, President Obama has been laying the foundation for a positive relationship with China. Focused mainly on keeping the Taiwan-China mainland issues at bay, expanding our Marine presence in Australia and handling complex human rights violations. President Obama has been accused of being to lenient with China’s unfair trading practices by merely filing cases against China with the WTO, instead of confronting China directly.

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Governor Romney and China

While Governor Romney has also been quoted as seeking deeper cooperation with China, he is in favor of a more direct approach. His strategy includes forming deeper relationships with other Asian nations to insulate the US from China’s rise, labeling China as a “currency manipulator” and urging China to pursue fair trading policies. What many voters may not know is that Governor Romney has plans to tax China’s currency manipulation.

The takeaway

On the issue of China, both candidates have very similar goals; however their execution strategies vary. Each will undeniably change the course of how we conduct business abroad. Our elections are about more than just the local state of affairs. Keep the bigger picture of world relations and the global economy in mind when voting. As a Chines proverb says, “A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions”.

Written By

Monica Moffitt, founder and Principal Cultural Consultant at Tianfen Consulting, Inc., has traveled the world and enjoys linguistics and all things culture. Having split her career between project management and business analytics, Monica merges logic, fluency in Chinese and creativity in her new role as cultural consultant. She received a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies/Chinese from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Business Administration (International Management and Marketing) from University of Texas at Dallas.

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